BLURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (9)

By: Crystal Durant
July 28, 2022

One in a series of 25 enthusiastic posts, contributed by 25 HILOBROW friends and regulars, delivering brief remarks on mottos, mantras, speeches, slogans, and other words to live by. Series edited by Adam McGovern.

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“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers/sons-of-bitches are starving to death.” — Auntie Mame/Mame

I was 10 years old the first time I saw the film Auntie Mame. The ORIGINAL one with Rosalind Russell, NOT Lucille Ball — though I did see the Lucille Ball version later (with Bea Arthur!); they’re both GREAT in their own ways.

It was 1975, and my Aunt Charlotte (my mom’s youngest sister) was visiting us — and one afternoon, we were in our family room watching TV, and somehow we landed on this GEM of a movie that came out in 1958.

Have you ever seen either version? Which one is your favorite? For those who haven’t had the pleasure, a quick summary:

It’s the story of Mame Dennis Burnside, an eccentric, single woman who lived life to the fullest, beloved by all men (who happened to be extremely wealthy), hosting endless parties and traveling the globe, all while dressed to the nines, whooping it up in her huge mansion in Manhattan. You know how the kids of today would say, “If the words ‘amazingly cool’ were a human”? THAT is Auntie Mame.

When her nephew, Patrick Dennis, is orphaned in 1928 after his father Edwin’s sudden death, he is placed in his aunt Mame’s care. Initially she is shook, but she quickly bonds with him and sets out to instill her adventurous worldview. Patrick’s inheritance is managed by an uptight jackass and conservative bank trustee who was charged by Edwin to rein in Mame’s influence. When the banker finds out that Mame has enrolled the boy in her friend Page’s kooky school, the banker forcibly transfers Patrick to his oppressive alma mater instead, limiting Mame’s visitation to holidays and summer. Wackiness ensues!

ANYWAY — after seeing Rosalind/Lucille shouting that mind-blowing line, “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers/sons-of-bitches [depending on which era’s version you watch] are starving to death!” to her assistant… I decided to never “starve.”

I decided to LIVE!
I decided to move here to NYC!
I decided to be a carefree kook-a-boo like Mame!

And I pretty much have lived that kind of life. I’ve done many things, non-apologetically; said “YES” to many things (while being careful) and I have a zillion stories to tell — about installing a balloon sculpture at Neverland Ranch and meeting Michael Jackson, DJing a party at the Playboy Mansion, and going out on a date with David Lee Roth and Yo-Yo Ma (not at the same time). I have done my level-best to live, LIVE life to the fullest, no matter what.

I’ve never starved. And I’m happy about that!

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BLURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: INTRODUCTION by Adam McGovern | Ran Xia on BLACK CROW BELIEFS | Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons on LEFT-CORNER BRICK | Andrea Diaz on JOY IS RESISTANCE | Lynn Peril on TO THINE OWN SELF | Miranda Mellis on THE FUTURE IS PASSÉ | Bishakh Som on LET THE WEIRDNESS IN | Lucy Sante on FLAUBERT’S PERFECT WORD | Stefene Russell on CRYSTAL SETS | Crystal Durant on LIFE IS A BANQUET | Adam McGovern on EVERY MINUTE AN OCEAN | Josh Glenn on LUPUS LUPUM NON MORDET | Heather Quinlan on SHUT UP, HE EXPLAINED | Adrienne Crew on WATCH YOUR PENNIES | Art Wallace on COME ON AND GIVE A CHEER | Julia Lee Barclay-Morton on WILLIAM JAMES, UNADAPTED | Christopher-Rashee Stevenson on TO EACH HIS OWN | Nikhil Singh on ILLUMINATE OR DISSIPATE? | Mimi Lipson on CHEAP FOOD TASTES BETTER | Kahle Alford on NOT GONNA CRACK | Michele Carlo on YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT | Marguerite Dabaie on WALKING ON WATER | Raymond Nat Turner on TRYIN’ AND TRANEIN’ | Bob Laine on WHEN YOU GROW UP | Fran Pado on THE SMILEY EMOJI | Deborah Wassertzug on PLACING YOUR BETS. PLUS: BLURB SERIES CODA by Lisa Levy.

MORE ENTHUSIASM at HILOBROW

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Enthusiasms